This is not big news: when something is regular in our lives, we take it for granted. José Ortega y Gasset, the famous Spanish philosopher, highlighted repeatedly how we accepted that the ground beneath out feet would support our weight every morning. When beauty is common, it is no longer exceptional. I challenge you to go back to the basics and be thankful for the beauty around you. I am thankful I grew in up in a place like this:
When you live in a place like this, you may admire its beauty every once in a while, but that’s it, especially if you have lived there all your life. Here is an example: I have been working here in Bariloche for the last couple of weeks and hence have driven downtown almost every day. The second day of commuting along the lake shore, the Nahuel Huapi was not so impressive and I did not miss it the third day. Do you see what I am hinting at?
I think we are surrounded by beauty: places, words, art, and people. And I think we take them for granted and we are not thankful enough. Thank God, life, the universe, or the spaghetti monster, but be thankful. Being thankful also helps us discover beauty in things we would have never seen. Some people may argue that you don’t have to be thankful for things that are simply they way they are, like a nice place you go on holidays. Yet, you should be thankful you can enjoy it.
As part of my work, I encounter myself almost begging or asking for favours to people when actually it is their job to give me what I ask for. When I say ‘thank you’, like my mother taught me, it sounds they actually were kind enough to agree to help me and give me access to the information I needed. I am uneasy about these situations because, on the one hand, I want that I am asking for; and on the other, they may not give it to me if they don’t want to (I could file a claim and everything, but these bureaucratic processes are very slow in Latin America).
I stand by my argument that regardless what other people do, we should be thankful and allow ourselves to discover beauty around us: beautiful people, beautiful actions, beautiful food, beautiful landscapes.